GRSM has provided state, regional and nationwide representation in consumer protection matters to companies in nearly all industries, both goods and services. We have tried to verdict or judgment cases in every substantive area of consumer law that covers consumer-business interactions, including fraud, debt collection, privacy, unfair business practices, deception, misrepresentation, advertising and product liability.
Our comprehensive range of experience includes state and federal laws that address credit repair, service and sales contracts, billing and debt collection, personal loan consolidation, pricing, competition, warranties, telemarketing, internet scams, investor fraud, identity theft, product safety, and foreclosure, among others.
We have particular experience with the Truth in Lending Act, Consumer Credit Protection Act, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and California’s Business & Professions Code section 17200 et seq.
Our litigation team also has a prominent national reputation for successfully resolving, managing and trying multi-party and multi-jurisdiction complex class action consumer protection claims.
A Focus on Debt Collection Litigation
GRSM has extensive experience in debt collection related litigation, and frequently defends banks, debt collection firms, and related financial institutions in both state and federal court matters. The complaints in these actions assert a wide variety of claims, including class action claims for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California's Rosenthal Act (Rosenthal claims), the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Plaintiffs in these matters also generally assert underlying "Unfair Competition Law" claims pursuant to state law.
GRSM has recently reached a favorable resolution of such matters on behalf of a number of clients such as Collectcorp Corporation, CreditAnswers, LLC, CMRE Financial Services, and Associated Creditors Exchange.
We have successfully defeated class certification in several cases, resulting in a quick resolution before extensive discovery has transpired. Recent examples include successfully blocking class certification in Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases, where corporate client representatives are accused of calling debtors' cellular phones with autodialers and/or using pre-recorded voice messages.
In cases involving contractual arbitration provisions, the firm has also relied upon the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion as a basis to remove cases from a potential jury and enforce contractual provisions designed to prevent individual claims from being pursued as class claims.
Secured a dismissal and non-certification of a large class action on behalf of a national restaurant chain in which Plaintiffs alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act in connection with the restaurant's practice of printing receipts for credit card transactions.
Successfully represented a prominent debt collections company in a large-scale FDCPA class action federal court case in Montana involving credit card accounts. The putative class exceeded 40,000 individuals. At issue were affidavits used in litigated collection proceedings wherein a person other than the affiant was signing the affiant's signature. Other facial defects in the affidavits were alleged. Plaintiffs pled the case not only under the FDCPA and state law counterparts (New Hampshire), but also under RICO. The case had been pending for over a year before our client was added to the roster of defendants. GTSM took a very aggressive stance, immediately moving to dismiss all counts. At oral argument, the Court ruled that the FDCPA and related state counts would be dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. With regard to RICO, the Court gave strong indications that plaintiffs had not met the statute's exacting pleading requirements, suggesting it was prepared to dismiss that count as well. These rulings led plaintiffs to pursue a settlement in earnest, with an agreement that all proceedings, including discovery, would be put on hold pending the outcome of negotiations. Gordon & Rees settled the case on a claims-made, class basis, for a small fraction of the plaintiffs' early demands.
Defense of financial services and insurance companies in multi-million dollar putative class action consumer fraud and unfair competition/RICO matters.
Defense of insurance companies in several consumer class actions brought by policyholders alleging bad faith and Consumer Protection Act violations.
Recently defeated class certification, affirmed on appeal, in a federal nationwide purported $200 million “junk fax” class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Defense of a large automobile and homeowners insurance company in a purported class action case with two precedent-setting results. First, the Court agreed to a bifurcated trial in which aspects of liability will be resolved before the Court addresses class certification. Second, this is the first case in which the Court addressed whether the Truth In Lending Act applies to an insurance installment payment plan. The Court ruled the client's premium finance plan was not credit or deferred payment as defined by TILA and, consequently, rejected the plaintiff's request for disgorgement of $200 million in finance charges paid by insureds since 2004. Phase III is pending.
*Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct 7.4 and 7.4A prohibit a lawyer admitted to practice in Connecticut from stating or implying that he or she is a specialist in a particular field of law unless that lawyer is currently certified as a specialist in that particular field of law by a board or other entity which is approved by the Rules Committee of the Connecticut Superior Court. Therefore, to the extent that any content of this page states or implies that any of GRSM's Connecticut lawyers have certain "expertise," unless a particular lawyer's biography indicates a particular certification, that word shall mean only that the lawyer has extensive experience in that area and/or focuses or concentrates his or her practice in that area.